Come riconoscere un vero Miele di Manuka e dove comprarlo?

The Ultimate Guide to Genuine Manuka Honey and It's Benefits

Manuka honey is renowned for its incredible properties, but to ensure you are purchasing a truly pure and authentic product, it is essential to pay attention to certain characteristics. Let’s explore what these are and where to buy Manuka honey safely.

Honey has always been a perfect ally for supporting our immune system due to its natural antibacterial action. Specifically, Manuka honey stands out from other types of honey because of the presence of Methylglyoxal (MGO), the substance responsible for its significant antibacterial capacity.

Today, we will understand how to recognize genuine Manuka honey and where to buy it to ensure it is original. It’s just a matter of knowing what information to look for on the label or what to ask the producer.

1. Provenance

The Manuka plant originates mainly from New Zealand and in some parts of Australia. In New Zealand, there are vast, uncontaminated hilly areas covered with Manuka plants, growing without any external intervention.

Its official botanical name is Leptospermum scoparium, attributed by Thomas Cook for the disordered branching of this shrub, resembling brooms. Englishman Cook landed on New Zealand’s shores in 1769 and was very interested in this plant, particularly its leaves as tea.

A recent news item involves a dispute between New Zealand and Australia over registering the official "Manuka Honey" trademark. New Zealanders claim the original Manuka plant is native to their land and that honey obtained from this particular shrub is very different from the Australian variety. Therefore, they hope for a certification mark, stating that only honey from New Zealand can be called "original Manuka honey."

2. Scientific Definition

To ensure consumer transparency when purchasing Manuka honey, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries introduced a very strict scientific definition.

This definition is based on objective data and certified laboratory analyses, information that must be obligatorily reported on the label.

The New Zealand government’s definition that allows recognizing genuine Manuka honey is based on a combination of 5 attributes: 4 chemicals from the nectar and 1 DNA marker from the Manuka plant pollen.

The 4 phytochemical compounds are 2′-methoxyacetophenone (2-MAP), 2-methoxybenzoic acid (2-MB), 3-phenyllactic acid (3-PLA), and 4-hydroxyphenyllactic acid (4-HPLA), along with the DNA marker from the Manuka plant pollen, which distinguish Manuka honey from any other type of honey.

3. Leptosperin

The New Zealand government has set strict standards to identify Manuka honey and protect consumers from fraud. Another test represents an additional guarantee of control and transparency for consumers—the Leptosperin test, which verifies the presence of this substance in the honey.

Leptosperin is a component found in the nectar of the Manuka plant. Its concentration can reveal if the final product has been adulterated to make it “resemble” genuine Manuka honey.

4. Quantity of Methylglyoxal

As mentioned, methylglyoxal is the active ingredient in Manuka honey, responsible for its potent antibacterial capacity, differentiating it from any other honey worldwide.

It is now possible to quantify the presence of methylglyoxal in absolute terms, determining the exact amount in a given dose of honey (e.g., 100 mg of Methylglyoxal in 1 kg of honey). This can only be done through a chemical analysis of the product. Manuka honeys with very similar appearance, consistency, and taste can be very different because the quantity of methylglyoxal CANNOT be detected by taste.

The quantity of methylglyoxal must be obligatorily reported on the label. Therefore, the packaging must show a value expressed in MGO (Methylglyoxal). For example: 100+ MGO means that there are 100 or more milligrams of Methylglyoxal in 1 kg of Manuka honey. In 200+ MGO, there will be 200 or more, and so on.

NaturalePiù has 5 different grades of Manuka honey: 100+ MGO, 200+ MGO, 400+ MGO, 500+ MGO, and 800+ MGO.

5. Accredited Laboratories

As previously mentioned, both the quantity of Methylglyoxal and the laboratory analyses of the five attributes are the only criteria to establish if it is genuine Manuka honey. These can only be determined through specific chemical analyses.

The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries requires producers to have the honey analyzed for these aspects, and the analyses must be carried out in certified and accredited laboratories.

What does UMF mean?

For many years, it was impossible to isolate the active ingredient in Manuka honey. So, for a long time, it was called Unique Manuka Factor, or UMF.

It was calculated based on a simple comparison of the honey’s effectiveness compared to the effectiveness of phenolic acid on various bacteria. Thus, honey was classified, for example, as UMF10 if it was as effective as a 10% phenol solution.

Today, this classification has been surpassed by scientific research, which has isolated Methylglyoxal. However, the registered UMF mark is still present in the market as it was registered by the UMF Honey Association, a trade association of Manuka honey producers. By becoming members of UMFHA and complying with the association’s internal regulations, the UMF classification can be used. But the UMF mark alone is not a guarantee of Manuka honey quality.

Where to Buy The Best Manuka Honey?

Once you know all the characteristics and standards to recognize genuine Manuka honey, choosing where to buy it becomes easier.

First, check the label carefully, which must indicate the provenance and the quantity of Methylglyoxal inside, i.e., its grade. If in doubt, it is always better to request all related analyses from the producer.

Anyone can consult the analyses, whether existing customers wanting to compare the batch number on the label with the reference analyses published or consumers preferring to review the analyses before purchasing Manuka honey. Simply request the batch number on sale, and we will indicate the analyses to consult.

Sources: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/food-business/honey-bee-products-processing-requirements/manuka-honey-testing/

Water, Lemon, Ginger, and Manuka Honey Recipe Preparation Time: ~20 min

Ingredients:

  • 40 grams of peeled and cleaned ginger

  • 2 tablespoons of Manuka Honey MG100+

  • 1 liter of water

  • Juice of one organic lemon

Preparation:

  1. Heat the water with finely chopped ginger and let it cook for about 15 minutes.

  2. Remove from heat and add Manuka Honey MG100+, stirring until dissolved.

  3. Pour into a pitcher, filtering with a sieve or gauze, and finally add the lemon juice.

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1 comment

Sono un medico e so che MGO e’ un metabolica del ’ossidazione degli zuccheri, proifiammatorio e forse cancerogeno

Giovanni —

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